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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 5:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Once again, a comment in another thread has prompted some long, rambling thoughts on my part, namely, bkidwell's observation that "Jerry was not only a musical genius, but also a conceptual and conversational genius. (I am extremely verbal and non-visual so I can't really judge his visual art ..."

Well, I’ll tackle it cuz I do have some background in that area. But first, having spent more time than I should have today taking a break from "real work" and looking at Band Member Art, I’ll start out with a quick open letter to Phil and Bob. It goes like this:

Dear Phil and Bob, Please don’t paint! Ever! Don’t even think about it! The reason is simple. Every one of you guys who tries it is actually good. It is too ridiculous. Stop making the rest of us humans feel so lame and untalented.

Phew. Now I’ve gotten that off my chest.

Now on to Jerry, Mickey, and Bill.

I found a bunch of Jerry’s and Mickey’s work on the following site,

http://www.weirgallery.com/gallery/jerry-garcia/

Yes, Weir Gallery. Run by artist Roberta Weir. Fortunately, she turns out not to be a pseudonym for an artistically talented but cross-dressing Bob; in fact, she’s no relation (according to a SFGate article.)

My quick thoughts on Jerry’s work:

I like the ones that appear to be watercolors on paper, such as Egypt, though unfortunately most don’t have the media listed (or even the date. Sigh.) Kind of Kandinsky meets Arts of the Insane with a nod to Chagall. Standard hippie surrealism, but yeah, the guy’s got talent, that’s for sure. I’d put one up in my house.

I also like the cartoony ones. Is that a cool Dodo or what? A wee bit Shel Silverstein.

I don’t care overall for what seems to be airbrush paintings, like Blue Iceberg and the Wetlands series, although I gather those are pretty popular. I just think the Day Glo colors are too obvious, so that the effect is a bit on the Elvis-on-black-velvet side. Or, to be kinder, they’re too L.A. for my taste. He’s got an awfully nice sense of design and line, though.

His biggest weakness seems to be that he gets into using over-saturated colors without transitions or nuance – perhaps a result of getting enchanted with the potential of something technical about the media -- and there are places where he loses his design focus and gets all muzzy. Hmmm, sound familiar? But what the hey, it was his hobby; he could do what he liked.

All in all, I’d say he wasn’t going to turn the art world on its ears, but he sure as heck could have done something with art if he’d gone in that direction. Sheesh, how much talent can one guy have?!?

And I hate to say it, cuz my objectivity will certainly be questioned, LOL, but Mickey is pretty darned good, too. Blast. What is it with those guys?

And I’ve seen some of Bill’s work online … not bad, either. The same tendency towards over-saturated colors, but still – some nice stuff. Can’t find the link now, though. Guess he just sort of dabbles occasionally.

Incidentally, I was googling to find Bill’s art and ran across this quote: “Bill’s interest in creating digital visual art began in 1993 when he got his first computer …Jerry Garcia, already a proficient computer artist, showed Bill how to use the Mac in an LA hotel room …”

Bill! My man! Someone more Neolithic than me in computer use! I suspect the writer meant “his first Mac” or something, but still … I can hope :-)

I’ll post a few images down below in a sec.

edit: Here's yet more Jerry Art ...

http://open.salon.com/blog/hal_m/2009/08/05/the_paintings_sketches_of_jerry_garcia




This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-08 12:09:25

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 5:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Very interesting!! Thanks. I didn't know he was so talented. I liked the dodo. It looked so friendly.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 8, 2011 4:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Really cool post AR! Thanks for the link, I've certainly never seen these images and some of them are definitely "pretty neat" to use my ultra-educated and sophisticated art appreciation vocabulary. Thanks for your notes on how you perceive the pieces, it helps me see more than I would otherwise.

I can definitely see the imprint of Jerry's mind and sensibility on these. The simple "Radio" piece really charms me, because it infuses so much life into mechanical objects.

Is there a name for the qualitative flavor, which can be manifested in all art forms or even in daily life, of things which have a certain messy, imprecise complexity? It is a definite "flavor" that I love, and I wonder if it is a taste most Deadheads share. As an example, I am averse to the kind of ultraclean, white and polished glass, minimalistic home interiors that seem to represent the modern ideal of stylishness - I want wood that shows the imprint of time, books in piles, strange bric-a-brac in the corners, mismatched but characterful art on the walls!

It's just like in music, I love the imprecisions of the GD in comparison to anything with precise studio polish, and in written language, I prefer the style of David Foster Wallace to that of Hemingway - give me the long, rambling sentences, the abstruse vocabulary, the tangents and footnotes.

Trying to make stylistic comparisons across different art forms is so difficult and fascinating. At the same time, I definitely do perceive the same qualitative essences in different forms. There are foods that I eat that remind me of certain GD songs. It's almost like synesthesia - when we talk about music or any art form, we more or less unconsciously make use of all kinds of metaphors. Many of the metaphors for music and everything else are visual, but we also often talk of a "sweet" sound or a "hard edged" sound, so taste and tactile sensations also get pulled in.

Hmm, I'm rambling, but I love these artworks. The fact that I don't "see art well" doesn't prevent me from enjoying it, maybe I enjoy it more because I don't have a very discriminating eye! [A half-echo, in a different artform, the classic lament of some (not me) on the forum, who say "why can't you just enjoy the music without being so critical!"]

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-08-08 11:53:34

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 5:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

A certain messy, imprecise complexity? Absolutely ... it's romanticism vs classicism :-)

You make an interesting point. You also described my "decorating taste" to a chaotic tee, LOL. I'll bet that the general romantic esthetic (rough edges, the "hand of the artist," emotion at the forefront, hot rather than cool, eclecticism, Dionysian over Apollonian) is more or less shared by folks who are drawn to the Dead ... though I dunno. Maybe not.

Hmmm, wonder if I could get a show of hands:

Rauschenberg or Warhol?

Abstract Expressionism or Minimalism?

Hemingway or George Eliot?

Scandinavian Design or eclectic? (Shabby chic or rustic or whatever.)

Do people have chairs with all the same kind of matching legs, purchased as a set, or would that make you scream? (In your own home, that is.)

Girls: How many of you own foundation? Mascara? A pair of nylons? (I think I've owned maybe three or four pairs of nylons in my adult life, never owned foundation, and once had some mascara in, like, 1977.)

Everyone: Piles of books all around? Yes or no?

(Btw, I should say that I can really, really appreciate a clean, pristine, minimalist look in other folks' houses, so if anyone's into that, great ... But I really do wonder to what extent that general esthetic that bkid described and I can relate to is shared by others with similar musical tastes.)


This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-08 12:32:56

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 6:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

This is a fun thread ... definitely count me under messy, imprecise complexity :) shabby chic etc., no, the chairs do NOT match and there are LOTS of piles of books. In our house books are the big problem item - we try to be disciplined and take out as many as we bring in, but it's a constant battle.

I do wear nylons to work (well, not in this weather, but say, 11 months out of 12). I am envious at the money you've saved not buying nylons; I probably spend in a month what you've spent in a lifetime on nylons ... I don't wear makeup. I never understood the concept of "foundation." I vaguely recall experimenting with these horrid substances in high school, but that same period also included anorexia and things like excessive eyebrow tweezing, and thankfully I outgrew these vices. And we've already had the "Do you dye your hair" discussion :)

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 8:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Hah! What do they cost? I'll add it up and turn that into an excuse to spend that on something I actually like :-)

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 10:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

better answer, at least a hundred dollars a year.

I had a friend once who never paid for pantyhose, because every time she got a run in her hose, she would mail them back to the company with a complaint letter, and they would mail her a replacement, coupons, etc., so she was constantly getting free pantyhose in the mail.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 9:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Depends on whether you buy cheap ones at the grocery store, which run right away and are basically disposable, in which case a few dollars a pair, but you have to buy a lot of them, or you can buy expensive ones which last longer. Then when the expensive ones run, too, you're *really* pissed. It sort of comes out the same, which is why I alternate between these two stratgies :)

In short, it's like I remember my mother telling me about girdles: don't ever start wearing one, because you can't stop once you start. Ha! I don't think they even make such things any more. but we'd better discontinue this 'cus the boys are not going to be able to handle a hijack to ladies underwear ;)

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Aug 8, 2011 2:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

I think more than a few of us could handle a ladies underwear hijack. ! ;-)

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 8, 2011 5:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Yeah, that is right on target for what I was trying formulate! You can absolutely sign me up on the Romantic side of all the dichotomies in your survey.

Now that you have framed the question in the context of the classicism/romanticism polarity, I'd like to offer another layer - "layers" itself, in this case. To cut immediately to an example:

The highest Quality always, to me, seems to inhere in a successful synthesis of the qualitative elements. In the context of the GD, I think the clearest example is the characteristic jam-filled sandwich. Within the context of the GD's music, the precomposed, song aspect is obvious the Classical pole, and free improvisation is the Romantic pole. The power of a prototypical masterpiece like Playin->UJB->Dew->UJB->Playin is that you have this progressive series of syntheses between layers - you have a Classical foundation of the prewritten songs, but they are subsumed within a larger frame of Romantic improvisation - but then, there is yet another layer, because the Romantic improvisations are on the larger scale structured in a very Classically balanced symmetric sequence.

To pop back to visual art, one of the Garcia drawings in one of your links particularly appeals to me - it is the black and white image captioned "Erudite Gentleman" where the gentleman's cranium opens into a swarm of recognizable symbols. I love this image because of the conceptual layer-crossing, and because it reminds me of a visual artist who I like a lot, Saul Steinberg. His whimsical drawings often have a sense of "symbols invading the graphic space" which I enjoy.

Since this is off in a rather philosophical direction, I should also offer a reference to another "Deadhead literary classic", Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach - a justifiably famous exploration of logic and mind, inspired by art and music. Pirsig's second book, "Lila" is all about the different layers on which qualitative interactions occur, it has a rather Hofstadterian flavor to me.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 6:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Yes, there's definitely that tension. But of course, no art really exists without a formalist aspect -- romanticism doesn't deny the intellect entirely, and it's certainly going to rely on training and composition as a basis for expression, or a frame within which to work, right? So yeah, you could argue there's got to be that pole.

There's a famous essay that critiques minimalist sculpture because it's fundamentally baroque, which is definitely counterintuitive. To dredge it up from my memory banks, I think it's by Michael Fried and argues that the innate theatricality of minimalist sculpture is too interactive with the viewer, so it really adulterates the purity of the form. Obviously it's a formalist 1960s argument, but what always stuck with me about it is how it's possible to construct an argument so that one form becomes another. Which is why logic is both fantastic and innately flawed. Now how's that for my romanticist take on a formalist argument?

So yeah, you could certainly argue that there's a classical/formalist aspect to the Dead's art, but I still think the fundamental esthetic is not classical.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 8, 2011 6:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

>but what always stuck with me about it is how it's possible to construct an argument so that one form becomes another. Which is why logic is both fantastic and innately flawed. Now how's that for my romanticist take on a formalist argument?

This has been a very educational thread, I love the paradoxical nature of Fried's argument. For me, the way we can use our analytical tools of abstraction to undermine themselves or in the positive sense, to bootstrap themselves, is a strength, not a weakness. It is very true that classical logic has a horror of paradox, but paradox is an inevitable consequence of recursion, and it is recursion that allows us to introspect, to see within ourselves, or turn the Mirror of Art back upon itself. Recursion is how fractals are created, and I think our world is definitely fractal in its infinite complexity and repetition of structures on multiple layers, with the interplay of Classical and Romantic elements present on each.

So, I never feel that our categorizations have to remain stable to be valid. The GD were definitely musical Romantics, but the work of archiving, collecting statistics, writing historical essays is a very Classicizing impulse. One of the reasons that the work done by scholars like LIA is so important, I think, is that it performs the alchemical synthesizing function of putting the Romantic energy of the band's live performances within a frame and making our knowledge more formalized.

The most Romantic Deadheads I'm sure are those who had thrilling experiences at shows and remember them that way, not balancing the quality of version X against version Y, listen indiscriminately and enjoy everything for what it is, etc. I'm more inclined towards the Classical, studious approach.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 7:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Well, there's a romanticism of experience and the romanticism of the practicing artist, I guess. The esthetic goal/ideal versus the practice. I don't suppose that Turner or Byron refrained from looking at their work comparatively, analyzing it afterwards, revising, etc. Jerry takes a very romantic stance, verbally, in so many things -- in his visual art, he supposedly never revised -- but it's also clear that he was an intense critic of his own music and others!

>For me, the way we can use our analytical tools of abstraction to undermine themselves or in the positive sense, to bootstrap themselves, is a strength, not a weakness

True, though I don't think Fried would have agreed. To me, the weakness of logic isn't in logic itself, but when it's taken as having the capacity to provide some kind of unanswerable answer without the recognition that it's also a reflection of how our minds (and linguistic structures) work. Sometimes paradoxes are more revealing, as Eastern philosophy would have it. Or art, music and poetry (Hunter's lyrics being a fantastic case in point). Great art is both subject to analysis and shows the limits of analysis. But then again, I obviously analyze incessantly :-)

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 8, 2011 8:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

>Great art is both subject to analysis and shows the limits of analysis.

AR, your insight and skillful embodiment of insight within language is truly impressive and in my semi-humble opinion, you seem to have achieved Satori. I could write ten thousand more words about language, logic, truth, and art - but it would all be just a "footnote" to the jewels of wisdom contained in the final paragraph of the above post.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 8:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Excellent. If I get my book written, I'll quote you on the jacket :-)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 8, 2011 6:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Very good stuff, Rosey...You'd appreciate that I am living at the other end of "your" continuum...all my colleagues say "William Tell's desk and lab are far too clean. He actually gets compliments from the safety inspectors that want to use it to show the other slobs how they should behave."

But, you guessed that already.

Now, I hope this doesn't come off as "art is easy" since you know better than I, BUT I will say many "elites" have practiced art, largely, because they "can", and even many of my War Hero/leader types have art work that can "pass" for it.

My pt is, I've always thought that good photo work, good artwork, etc, just takes time, and lets face it, our band friends have plenty of it in later yrs, or in Jer's case, the frenetic energy that was NEVER going to be put to "normal use" (eg, sports, excercise, etc. think of how much hiking, biking, running, whatever, "we" do, and he did NONE of it). So, to be clear, great art is different, but I think many of "us" could produce passable art if we had lots of time on our hands. When you make butt loads of $$, you find things to do with your time. And if you're creative by nature, you fall to this sort of stuff.

Just a thought. It really struck me when I realized so many great leaders, Brits usually, of the elite, always did art, even on the battlefield.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 6:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

LOL, I thought that too. (About the loads of free time and $$). Thomas Jefferson wouldn't have been quite the same Thomas Jefferson if he'd needed to go to the office 9-5. I'm willing to submit to an experiment: Some curious Bill Gates type can provide us all with tons of money, just for science's sake, and then we'll learn how artistically skilled we all become over time :-)

Btw, I should point out, WT, though you probably know this, that art was a required subject at West Point pre-CW, and I assume that lasted a while and was the case in England, too. Before easy photography and communications, and when geography was so important (exploration-wise as well in the US Army), it really was a key skill ... so drawing wasn't just an elite thing (though it certainly was), but a military thing.

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-08 13:47:30

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 8, 2011 6:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Sign me up; the money part esp. I actually have the time now but I use it differently, and don't have the patience for art just yet (I am limited, but not that limited, in my view). I read much more, but yeah, I'd become quite the illustrator (not artist) if I had the inclination...

Oh, and I've never owned a pair of nylons, though Rob wanted me to send SDH some once. Or was that Dire?

Thought I missed that, Dan Healy?!

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 7:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Uh oh - thread deterioration alert :)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 8, 2011 7:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

PART II: yes, there is a strong linkage between exploration of the West (US) and military expeditions, after MX-US war, after CW, and then 1890s, and the doc's along with the leaders not only illustrated the crap out of everything, but documented many new spp of herps, etc. sending them back to the new and rapidly expanding Nat'l Mus. They were really jacks of all trades, mapping, hunting, not to mention killing and maiming, and even some artwork now and again.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 8:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

I think there are specimens in the Smithsonian collected by none other than McClellan during his service ... can't recall if he spent time in Arizona, but he was certainly in Texas.

Incidentally, if you haven't read this, it's a fascinating account of early Arizona that shows how very wild and inhospitable it was just post-CW. It's called "Vanished Arizona: Recollections of the Army Life by a New England Woman," by Martha Summerhayes. I read it online, possibly here:

http://www.readbookonline.net/title/53233/

I love first-person accounts by intrepid ladies of the past. (Ringo alert, too, in case you're interested in that kinda thing!)

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 8:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Ha, thanks, but no, I guess I don't tend to read about intrepid ladies of the past, they make me feel inferior :)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 8, 2011 10:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Of course, they might view you and Rose as the amazingly accomplished techno ladies of the Forum, and be proud of your obvious abilities, surpassing the likes of William Tell who can't even place a pic within a post, despite his accepted accuracy with a bolt, apple and son's head...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 11:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

actually, I wanted to do that this morng and couldn't remember how ... so much for technobrilliance...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 8, 2011 8:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Ha...used to be on the reading list for one of my courses. Lots of good bks on AZ. Whoops...dentist is ready for me, later...

This post was modified by William Tell on 2011-08-08 15:56:23

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Poster: boltman Date: Aug 8, 2011 5:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Jer did study art before turning to music. As a side note, the only piece he ever did that was Dead related was a "portrait" of August West (Wharf Rat). Would love to own that!

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Aug 8, 2011 6:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Superb post AR - very appropriate for this week as we celebrate "the days between." Garcia the man is on my mind this week.

I've seen some of Jerry's art up close in galleries, and it is very, very good - engaging, fun, playful and psychedelic. Mind you, it's not "important" art, but it's a lot more than just dabblings. He was very prolific. I think the variety and scope is similar to what we hear in the music - wide-ranging, diverted down little pathways, always interesting. As noted in another post, I believe the often over-abused descriptive "genius" is right on target when discussing Garcia.

Neckties are not usually a topic of discussion here... but I own several Garcia neckties. I don't wear them very often, but they're my first choice more often than not. I get lots of comments, and even spark a GD discussion with them. I know that they are really the product of a textile designer working from Garcia inspirations (likely the Facets series), but the ties are beautiful and I feel like I'm wearing art instead of boring old stripes. See a few samples: http://compare.ebay.com/like/260780544502?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

In response to bkidwell - I don't know if it has a name, that messy imprecise complexity and aversion to ultra-modern minimalism in decorating. I think that's partly passed on by your family environment growing up, but it's a trait I partially share. I like wood, antiques, mismatched pieces of interest in my environment. I love some colorful and meaningful bric-a-brac, although it's in my nature to bring order to it all. ( I admit to hating messiness and dirt, it's a Virgo thing.) (edit response on books: we have three large bookcases in our LR, all packed tight)

Below is a Garcia print I love, and wish I had one for my living room. To me it says it all.

Hope I got the code this time:
http://www.artbrokerage.com/artthumb/garcia_14954_2/850x600/Jerry_Garcia_Garcia_Grisman.jpg



This post was modified by unclejohn52 on 2011-08-08 13:09:26

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 8, 2011 5:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

This is too funny ... I want one! (OK, not at $6500.)

http://www.artbrokerageinc.ca/artthumb/garcia_20281_2/850x600/Jerry_Garcia_Reluctant_Dragon_with_Free_Pencil_Signed_Fox_Trot.jpg

Pretty neat stuff, and certainly varied ...

http://www.poplifeart.com/landscape_by_jerry_garcia.jpg

http://www.artalivenow.com/Art_Alive_Now/Jerry_Garcia,_Butterfly_Trap_files/Jerry20GarciaButterfly20Trap.jpg

http://halmasonberg.wordpress.com/files/2009/08/jerry-garciaabstract-angles.jpg

http://halmasonberg.wordpress.com/files/2009/08/jerry-garciawild-turkey.jpg

Now for Mickey ... Hmmm, harder to see, but there's a bunch on the Weir Gallery link. Methinks someone's been taking lessons in between meetings of the Smithsonian board and all. Darned overachiever.

http://www.weirgallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/53-123x123.jpg

Bill in a strange mood ...

http://www.walnutst.com/newsletter/admin/images/admin/2009/christmas%20blast%201209/BigSkull.jpg

Btw, here's a lone example of some work by Jerry that I think is oversaturated, etc. Help, he's using a synthesizer! I still like the sense of line, though.

http://halmasonberg.wordpress.com/files/2009/08/jerry-garciawetlands-ii.jpg






This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-08 12:06:25

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Poster: user unknown Date: Aug 8, 2011 9:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

but Wetlands 2 matches Wetlands 1 very well.

http://www.weirgallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Wetlands-I1-377x218.jpg

I'd like to own the pair, but not at $10,500.00

But I think, even though it is also a bit over-saturated, I like this one better.
http://www.poplifeart.com/landscape_by_jerry_garcia.jpg


This post was modified by user unknown on 2011-08-09 04:17:45

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 8, 2011 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

Jerry had actually gone to art school in the '50s to study painting (California School of Fine Arts). One teacher remembered: "At the time there were two major directions the school was going, stylistically. One of them was abstract expressionism. But Jerry was more taken with the so-called California Figurative style."

Up to '61 he considered himself more of an artist than a musician:
"I hadn't decided I was really going to play music. I was still oscillating between the art world and music. I wasn't committed."
"I wasn't really going anywhere special. I wasn't going to art school anymore - I was playing the guitar an awful lot, sitting around and poking around the guitar. But I wasn't thinking about myself as a guitar player, I was still thinking of myself as an artist."
But a couple things happened in '61 that pushed him more into the music world - first the car crash in which a painter friend of his died, then meeting a couple more folk/bluegrass musicians who really interested him.

Of course his art resurfaced in the '90s...
"I never saved them. It's only in the last five years that somebody said, 'People might like these things.' I thought, 'Gee, you think so?' It never occurred to me. I've never done them for any purpose. I only do them because they sort of spill out of me. I never intended for people to see them."

Roberta Weir said: "Many of the drawings show that same mental state of improvisation that you find in the music. It's like, 'I'm just wandering with my pen line; I wonder where it will go.' Looking at them that way, they're not necessarily logical. Sometimes you can even turn the paper upside down and find another picture."

A couple people closer to Garcia have a different viewpoint:
John Dawson: "Half those pictures were what Jerry saw in his brain when he was on DMT. DMT makes thousands of pinpoint images go through your brain at the same time."
Owsley: "I never thought the artwork that was offered up for sale was his best work. It was done after the heroin and they were all kind of sloppy and loose. Although they had weird ideas in them, they didn't have this dimensionality and intricate perfection of detail...we could see inside our heads when we were high."

It's been pointed out that in the '90s, Jerry was getting enough offers for his art that he could have lived off his paintings without ever having to play another show...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 8, 2011 3:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Visual Art by Jerry and Others

http://www.artbrokerage.com/artist/Jerry-Garcia

I meant to post this - I thought I posted it, but I don't see it. Anyway more of Jerry's art here. also I like the photo of Jerry!